Saturday, February 26, 2011

Are you a Purr Tart? Keep your human wanting that purr.

Dear George,
I wonder if you could give me a bit of advice about my brother. In my opinion, a self respecting cat should purr only after the human has put in a fair bit of effort, and even then, a purr is never guaranteed. I am concerned that my brother, Frank, may have a purr disorder. Not only does he purr as soon as he is touched, he often purrs as soon as a human makes a silly kissy noise at him, or even just looks at him. The purring often continues for quite a few minutes after the human has stopped attending to him. I've tried to have a word with him about it, but he ignores me. Is it normal for some cats to be trigger-purr-happy, or could there be something wrong? Is he just a 'Purr Tart' because he's contented?
PS. I am the
one with the white bib and purring Frank is the one with lots of hair below.

Dear Bob
I agree with you. Indiscriminate purring to humans is not good for discipline. Your brother Frank needs some more lessons in training theory. If a reward (purring) is given too easily, it loses its value. He is devaluing the training currency and letting down the side by being a Purr Tart.
As we all know training is done by reward - purrs and rubs - and by either active ignoring (withdrawing all attention) or punishment (claws and teeth). Human dog trainers have gone all soppy and nowadays (apart from out of date TV stars) train without punishment. We cats believe that punishment is a vital tool in our training strategy. Some of us enjoy showing off our power over humans (just like out of date TV stars with dogs!).
Is there something wrong with Frank? Yes, indeed there is. He is
too easily pleased - a big mistake in a cat.
Talk to him seriously. Spoiling your human is not good for either cat or human. Treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen is my motto. Frank needs to sign up to a claw and order programme. Now....
Love George.
PS. He may be a Purr Tart but he has a wonderful nose - pink with a dark lining.

Friday, February 18, 2011

At last - the British Prime Minister gets expert help.

Dear George,

We would like to congratulate your PM for selecting a cat for the top job. We, CATS, proved again to be intelligent, reliable and superior in every aspect to any other species! Downing Street No. 10 has brought in Larry the cat to clean up the (mice) mess in the British Prime Minister’s official residence.

What is even more thrilling is that Larry is a rescued stray who, lately, was living at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. He was recruited based on his abilities, capabilities and street-smarts skills. He is the TOP CAT! He will be looked after by the whole stuff at Downing Street. He will run of most of the offices and official rooms as well as the garden. He also is in charge with training Prime Minister’s young children!

They absolutely will make great hunters! Like master like kids J

He proved to be fully qualified to cope with the demands of daily life at Number 10!

He made headlines in North America! Congratulations Larry!

Fluffy & Cayenne

Dear Fluffy and Cayenne,

Yes, at last we have an intelligent species at the top of human government. We may be able to get through the human recession, now that political life is in a safe pair of paws. I have had a word with Larry, and he tells me that he is very slowly going to take over the reins from the PM. His plan is to infiltrate himself into the heart of power.

The cabinet, those humans appointed by David Cameron, may take rather longer to subdue. However, he tells me that he will start by simply attending cabinet meetings. To lure them into acceptance of his presence, he will pretend to be asleep (goodness knows, human politicians are boring enough). Later, he will make his presence felt - his innate charisma will probably do the rest. At the moment he is taking a very careful look right round his territory and teaching the policeman at the door of Number Ten Downing Street to let him in or out, as required. Until the basics are in place, he cannot start his true work.

The press have been intrusive. Provoked by this, Larry has naturally responded with claws to a particularly ridiculous TV reporter. Quite right too. The press need to be kept in their place. He says he strolled into a press conference at Number Ten and the Downing St staff took him away, because his mere presence detracted from the human goings on. He is conscious, as we all are, that cats will always steal the camera's attention!

There has been a lot of idiotic comment in the human blogosphere about his ability, or otherwise, to catch rats. Some particularly stupid woman wrote to the Daily Telegraph to say that cats didn't catch rats. If I had lived near her, I would have taken her one as a present - like the one I brought into Celia's kitchen. It ran up the corner of the kitchen wall right to the beams, then fell back into the Wellington boot she was holding below (a rare occasion of human skill).

I'm sure all us cats will want to wish him the best. At cat purporting to be Larry can be found on twitter. His website cannot be far behind. All us cats hope that his arrival at Downing Street will encourage people to adopt from a rescue shelter (read Wicky Wuudler in the comments below).

Love George.

PS. For more details of Larry go to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. They provided the close up photo.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What do I look for in a human to adopt? Should I get a pedigree?

Dear George,
I am between homes at the moment. I have a home where they feed me but they have added a dog and I am not happy about that. I have been patrolling the streets looking for better accomodation. Obviously, I have to make sure there are no resident dogs and, in my case, I don't want another resident cat either. I am a singleton by nature. Those two requirements I can manage. But how should I choose the human? Do I just go for the first one that feeds me? Should I think of adopting a pedigree?
Love Whiskerette.

Dear Whiskerette,
When choosing a human, go for function not form. Humans come in all shapes and sizes but it is a mistake to choose them for looks. What you need is a human that functions well - one that is generous with the cat food, has time for you when you want it, and in the UK good central heating is an absolute must. I suggest you make a home check visit before adopting one.
I don't recommend a pedigree. In theory cats and pedigree humans have hunting in common. Posh humans often have the view that "It's a nice day, let's go out and slaughter some wildlife." Not unlike us. But unfortunately some of them shoot cats or employ gamekeepers who do. Also you've got to think of the inherited disorders among pedigree humans, due to inbreeding (see Debretts studbook). Some people believe that the shooting stick was invented because so many toffs have hip dysplasia.
I think you will be better off with a humbler mongrel (or moggy) human. They have kinder hearts.
May I put in a word for elderly humans. They look rather manky but they have the advantage of not going out to work any more. They will be at home, when you want them. They will keep their heating on (at least in one room) all day during bad weather. They sleep a lot - which means you have a living bed warmer more often available.
Most of them have a routine not unlike ours - eat, nap, eat, nap on sofa or bed, eat, nap in front of TV, eat, nap with more TV, and then a long nightime nap. Most of them don't over indulge in human-catnip, ie alcohol, so they don't get rowdy, silly and noisy. Many of them no longer have children or partners at home, so they can concentrate on indulging and enjoying your company.
True, some oldies don't have much money but, in my experience, many of them will buy good quality cat food and if necessary go without treats for themselves. Of course they may not be able to afford vets fees but that is an advantage. We hate vets.
Just be careful about winding round their legs - you don't want them to fall over.

Love George.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

To Jon with love from us cats.....

Dear George,

Few days ago we came across a beautiful photo album that was given as a Christmas gift to our friends, Rafael & Yeminai. The album contains photos with cats; lots of cats, past and present! All were rescued! We’ve seen how they looked before and after.

All this wonderful work was done by one single person, Jon. He looks like a big, quiet “teddy bear” who shares his heart, his house and his food with all cats.

He doesn’t expect anybody’s help but it is grateful if someone does, like Rafael & his wife. On the inside cover there is a beautiful “mission” statement which we will like to share with you! It is called “I am an animal rescuer”

“My job is to assist God’s creatures; I was born with a need to fulfill their needs. I take in new “family members” without plan, or selection. I have bought cat food with my last dime. I have patted a mangey head with bare hands; I have hugged someone “vicious” and afraid. I have fallen in love a thousand times, and I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body. I have “animal friends” and friends who have animal friends.

I don’t use the word “pet”. I notice those lost on the side of the road and my heart aches.

I will hand raise a field mouse and make friends with a vulture.

I know of no creature unworthy of my time. We are a quiet, but determined army that is making a difference every day. There is nothing more necessary then warming an orphan, nothing more rewarding than saving a life, no higher recognition is needed than watching them thrive. There is no greater joy then seeing a baby furry play who, only days ago, was too weak to eat. I am an Animal Rescuer….. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty, but my heart is always full” – by a fellow cat rescue worker, name unknown.

George, on behalf of all our rescued fellows we want to show our gratitude and say:

THANK YOU JON with love from cats.

Fluffy & Cayenne

Dear Fluffy and Cayenne,

I owe my life to cat rescuers like Jon. I was from a litter of kittens rescued and taken to West Oxfordshire Cats Protection. Without their help I would probably have died. Mother cats, from homes where the humans don't bother to spay them, often leave home to find a quiet place to give birth. Most young kittens born in the wild do and even if they don't, their mother will often die exhausted by the effort of feeding and finding food for her little ones. I don't even know what happened to my mother. I was bottle fed by Lou and then I adopted Celia.

Since then I have trained her to help by taking photographs of cats that are ready to adopt a human. If you click on the website you will see some of them. Of course, humans being dumb self-centered creatures, she has written them up as if they are the adoptees, rather than the adopters. But one has to make allowances for human stupidity.

Humans who rescue cats often get criticised by their peer group. They are told they should only help other humans not cats. I say that helping cats is the highest occupation that a mere human can aspire to. What else would they do? How else can they show the natural deference and appreciation of a lower form of life for the highest feline form of life? It's natural for them to want to help, feed, groom, and generally adore.

Besides since we have domesticated them, they are so much happier. Jon sounds like a really lovely pet. You humans out there would do well to imitate him or at least help people like him by letting yourself be adopted by a shelter cat.

Love George

PS Here is the petition to sign in favour of prosecuting the tourism company that slaughtered 100 sled dogs -

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online